Tell me your landscape and I’ll tell you who you are.
– Jose Ortega y Gasset
Consistently, the most visited pages of our website are the biographies of our team members. What this seems to confirm for us is that first and foremost, prospective clients are interested in learning about our professional backgrounds in addition to the nature of our life experiences. When combined, these experiences define much of who we are and who we will be as a company.
In choosing a partner to help manage your wealth, it is important to understand the “landscape” of the firm and individuals that you select. Parts of our landscape are evolving over time as we grow, both in the size of our team and the clients we serve. But there are parts of our landscape that are unchanging. Our biographical information is designed to help you learn about both of those aspects of our firm.
Gregory A. Carlson is a founding principal of Carlson Capital Management. As CEO his primary responsibilities include developing and setting the vision for the firm. In addition, Greg is actively involved in managing client relationships. Greg is a 1982 graduate of St. Olaf College, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Greg went on to earn his designation as a Certified Financial Planner™. He worked for four years with IDS/American Express as a financial planner and manager, then established Carlson Capital Management in 1987. Greg has provided investment counsel and advice to clients for three decades and is a speaker and writer on the topics of financial, estate and philanthropic planning.
Greg is an active community member and has served in leadership roles on numerous boards and committees of civic, professional and religious organizations including the Northfield Rotary Club, American Center for Philanthropy, Northfield Area Foundation, Bethel Lutheran Church, Mt. Carmel Ministries, St. Olaf College, and TIAA-CREF Institute. Greg is also the co-founder of 5th Bridge, which is now a part of Northfield Shares, an organization founded to advance philanthropy, inspire volunteerism and promote collective leadership. Greg and his wife, Nancy, live in Northfield, where they have raised their three daughters.
I have learned that wisdom comes from experience and experience is gathered over time. Over the past 30 years, I have seen and worked with most of the technical issues people face in developing financial plans. But more importantly, I have been a part of our clients’ lives. I have seen the joys and challenges of wealth. I have experienced births and deaths, nursing homes, divorces, retirements and layoffs. I have witnessed the best and worst of families, the ups and downs of the stock markets, the comings and goings of trends and fads. I have seen goals set and achieved and opportunities created that no one thought existed. I have seen good and bad investments (and even invested in a few bad ones myself in the earlier years). Through all of this, I have learned the importance of being technically strong, disciplined and trustworthy and to be of uncompromising integrity. I am proud to have formed, and to be a part of a firm, which has these principles at its core.
Much of who we are as adults is steeped in our formative years as children and young people. I grew up on the prairies of western Minnesota where I was exposed to hard work, discipline and honesty. As one of five children of a school teacher and mother who stayed at home during the child-rearing years, my life revolved around family, church and sports. I was expected to do well (which meant only my best) in my education, sports and work, but always with a respect and concern for those around me.
When I was 12, and in the sixth grade, one afternoon my teachers gathered the entire class together to review a math test that we had all taken. Before beginning the review, Mrs. Halvorson wanted to draw attention to two students who had done exceptionally well–I was one of them. As she proceeded to go through the correct answer and method to each question, it became clear to me that she had not corrected my paper accurately. As I watched my “A” slip to a “C”, I began erasing the wrong answers for which I had received credit and replaced them with the new correct answers. At the conclusion of the review I stared at my paper now 100% correct. It took me only moments to re-erase the correct answers and replace them with the wrong answers and trudge to the front of the class to inform Mrs. Halvorson that I wasn’t the bright shining student on that exam.
Honesty is a value I hold sacred. Honesty means always telling the truth, even when it hurts. Honesty means being transparent in how I conduct business and in all aspects of my life. Most importantly, honesty means being authentic even when it shows my flaws.
It is the foundation of the first 22 years of my life, with the experiences of the following 35 years, that have guided me in working with the clients of Carlson Capital Management and developing our firm into a successful wealth management firm. I have a strong desire to excel at both the client and company level, but only by earning it. It is my philosophy that we need to always excel at taking care of our clients first and that in turn will shape who we are as a firm--our success will follow.
Jeffrey R. Carlson is a founding principal of Carlson Capital Management. His primary responsibilities include managing client relationships and helping to lead the firm’s business development initiatives. Jeff also develops and sets the vision for the firm. Jeff is a 1983 graduate of St. Olaf College, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, with specific concentrations in finance and accounting. Jeff began his career with IDS/American Express and shortly there-after earned his Certified Financial Planner™ designation. Jeff has been providing wealth management advice to clients and their families for three decades and has developed specific areas of expertise in retirement and early retirement planning, stock option management, estate planning, insurance services and developing integrated plans that include philanthropic giving.
Jeff is an active volunteer with numerous organizations including Hastings Area Rotary Club, St. Philips Lutheran Church, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Hastings Area YMCA, Green Lake Lutheran Ministries and the Hastings chapter of Let’s Go Fishing for seniors. Jeff is also an active alumnus of St. Olaf College, and currently serves as the Class of ’83 Correspondent and Class Fund Agent. In maintaining family tradition, Jeff is an avid tennis player and enjoys serving as a volunteer coach with the Hastings High School Tennis Team. Jeff also enjoys golf and spending time with his family. Jeff and his wife, Stacy, live in Hastings, Minnesota, where they raised their three children.
Sports have and always will play an important part in my life. It is through these activities that I have learned hard work, discipline, and teamwork. Let me provide a few examples.
As a sophomore on the St. Olaf Basketball team, I was disenchanted with my playing time and the lack of opportunities to prove myself. With my speech to my coach memorized, I walked into his office to make my case for increased playing time. Before I was even able to say my opening line, I was presented with these words: “You are slow, you make poor decisions, and have an inability to score!”
So, I asked myself, “Do I quit or do I try to prove him wrong?”. By the end of the season, I was the first guard off the bench, lettered, and was given the “Mr. Hustle” award by my teammates. I may not have been the most talented, but I understood the value and reward in working hard and doing my best to help the team.
Another example recalls how I always wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps as a strategist and coach. I can picture my dad, days before a tennis match, shuffling and re-shuffling line ups to get the best opportunity for success against the opposing team. To a degree, what I really enjoy doing at Carlson Capital Management, I learned from my father. First, I know that to best serve our clients requires expertise and strategy from many different angles, including tax, estate, and investment perspectives. Understanding data and information is important, but it is the ability to put information together into a cohesive plan and structure that requires true expertise, experience and leadership. Second, to meet the needs of our clients, I am able to act as a coach to incorporate the best game strategies to “prevent unsuccessful outcomes” and create the best opportunity to win – that is, how to best accumulate, manage, and distribute their assets in such a manner as to help them accomplish what is most important to them.
Justin D. Stets is President of Carlson Capital Management. Justin oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm, providing direction to CCM’s functional areas, as well as leadership on the direction and vision of the firm. In addition, Justin is actively engaged as an Integrated Wealth Advisor. Before joining CCM in 1998, Justin spent eleven years with Wells Fargo Corporation. Principal experiences at Wells included lending to high-net-worth clients and brokering commercial banks. Justin graduated from St. Olaf College cum laude in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin, Greek and Religion. He is a Phi Beta Kappa alumnus. In 1987, he received his Master’s degree in Theological Studies from Harvard University.
Justin is also Chief Compliance Officer for the firm and holds an Accredited Investment Fiduciary professional designation, awarded by the Center for Fiduciary Studies. The AIF designation affirms the highest in fiduciary standards of care for CCM clients. Combining expertise with a Zero Alpha Group colleague, Justin is co-author of "Fiduciary Matters, Relationships of Trust,” an informative paper outlining the role of a fiduciary within a wealth advisory relationship.
Community involvement and professional leadership engagement is a priority for Justin. He recently completed a two-year term as president of Zero Alpha Group, and continues to be active on the organization's leadership team. Justin is co-founder of 5th Bridge, which is now a part of Northfield Shares, an organization founded to advance philanthropy, inspire volunteerism, and promote collective leadership, where he participates as a board member. Justin and his wife, Kristin, are also philanthropically committed to the success of projects located in Iringa, Tanzania and El Rosario, Guatemala.
Previous roles for Justin include serving as Vice President of the Board of Friends of Africa Education and with the Catholic community of St. Dominic in Northfield where he held various leadership positions. He is former Board President of the Northfield Community Action Center, as well as former President and Board member of the Ronald McDonald House of the Twin Cities. He also recently completed a term on the Schwab Advisor Services Advisory Board. Justin and Kristin live in Northfield, Minnesota, where they raised their four children.
I strongly believe that knowing someone’s personal history creates a window of insight for a client. Three pieces of information may help describe who I am. First, I am the last child of ten college educated siblings raised in northeast Ohio during the 1960′s-1970′s. Second, our family of twelve lived in a three bedroom, one bathroom apartment above a store which was owned and run by my mother. Third, I was raised and educated until high school as a Catholic, graduated from a Lutheran college, and attended a non-denominational theological graduate school.
With these three data points, you and I can have a great deal of conversation. We can discuss the value of money, as represented by a household of twelve that rarely ate meat (because it was so expensive), drank powdered milk, and gave recycled birthday cards out as gifts. We can discuss hard work – a mother who simultaneously raised 10 children and ran a successful business. We can converse about the value of an education and the persistence and sticktuitiveness required to accomplish such goals. We can talk about the political stress of the 1960′s, and the economic hardships of the 1970′s in comparison to today’s environment. Our dialogue could cover sibling relationships, how to pay for college, how to care for elderly parents and issues of ethical and moral responsibility. Because no one is immune, in my opinion, from the wanderings of the human spirit, we could enjoy conversation about the role of religion in one’s life, our community and our global environment.
All of these conversations are part of who Carlson Capital Management is, but perhaps not identified in a traditional format. Along with the years of experience and hundreds of stories of my colleagues, all the influences and experiences that we have collectively received dramatically shape our current philosophy and relationship with our clients. Placing the client in the center of all our actions is not just a nice business slogan to have, it is rooted in the fabric of who we are as individuals, and what we believe as a firm. Advocating for a transparent, clear and academically proven investment philosophy is not a marketing gimmick, it is the foundational equivalent of a “Bible” for us as investment advisors. Establishing delivery channels for our trust, tax and philanthropic work so that our clients are truly experiencing an integrative wealth management platform points to our philosophy of broad-based thinking and intelligent, holistic planning and action.
I am hopeful that when you come to Carlson Capital Management and meet our team, you experience not only competency, but quality and care. That is why we are here. This is what makes us tick.
Abbi Kramas is a Paraplanner at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, Abbi works closely with the firm’s wealth advisors, collaborating throughout the planning process to deliver comprehensive financial plans to clients. She is responsible for collecting, tracking and monitoring related data, preparing presentation materials and assisting with portfolio management. Abbi also facilitates client-advisor communications and works proactively to monitor and complete client-related servicing activities. In addition, she is responsible for a strong working knowledge of and leveraging of firm technology to best serve clients.
Abbi graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens-Point where she earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Administration and Accounting. Prior to joining CCM, Abbi worked for nine years serving in roles in insurance, banking and financial. When not at work, Abbi enjoys spending her time being active—particularly running and weight lifting. She also loves to spend time with friends and family and enjoys cooking. Abbi grew up in Mosinee, Wisconsin and now lives in Farmington, Minnesota with her two dogs, Bella and Jazmine.
I was raised in a small town in central Wisconsin by hard-working, self-employed parents. They provided for our family, filled our home with an abundance of love, and never let on to the fact that we were living on a very tight family budget.
When I headed to college, I often found myself envious of classmates who had their education paid for by their parents. I was working two or more jobs and funding my entire education through my income and student loans. My parents were able to provide periodic gas money, occasional groceries, and a few random household items. Above all else, my parents provided me with the encouragement and support I needed while I completed my degree.
Years later I now realize the sacrifices my parents made. Their ability to make a lot out of a little has helped shape me into a responsible young adult with a strong work ethic that I will possess forever. These gifts they have given me provide motivation every day in my work serving our clients at CCM.
Adam Hoffmann serves as Chief Investment Officer at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, he leads the firm’s investment team in the areas of trading, investment research, portfolio design and technology support for investment applications. Adam oversees analysis and execution of investment strategies for new and existing client portfolios. He consistently communicates the firm’s investment philosophy and approach by writing for firm publications, presenting to new clients, and by participating in client meetings. Adam chairs the CCM investment committee, represents the firm with strategic partnerships in the investment community, and serves as the firm’s liaison to the Zero Alpha Group investment committee. Adam holds the Certified Financial Planner™ designation granted through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and has served as a subject matter expert for the CFP Board, contributing to the development of examination questions for the CFP Certification Examination. He has also served as a presenter at industry events, providing other financial services professionals with continuing education credits in investment topics. In addition, Adam holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary professional designation, awarded by the Center for Fiduciary Studies. The AIF designation affirms the highest in fiduciary standards of care for CCM clients.
Adam graduated cum laude with Honors Program distinction from Augsburg College, where he earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Finance with a minor in Business Administration. While at Augsburg, Adam participated in four years of varsity football and was honored by his teammates by being elected captain for both his junior and senior seasons. He also earned all-MIAC and pre-season All-American honors.
Adam is a Trustee for the First United Church of Christ Northfield, and a former member of the board of directors for the Just Food Community Co-op. He and his wife Rachel grew up in Hastings, Minnesota and now live in Northfield with their two young daughters and dog, Lottie.
A strong sense of curiosity is a cornerstone to who I am and how I live my life. As a kid I used to be fascinated by how things work or why things happen the way they do. I often would take things apart to see what was happening ‘inside,’ frequently with limited success at being able to put them back together. Little has changed since then with regard to my curiosity, but fortunately my success rate of being able to put the pieces back together has greatly improved. I have always been driven by this desire to solve problems and learn more about the world around me.
There is a natural connection between this curiosity and managing portfolios. The investment world today is one of relentless change and evolution. With advances in technology, there is an endless stream of news available at our fingertips that constantly impacts asset prices, shapes investor behavior, and provides an unlimited supply of data and information to digest.
It is our job at CCM to absorb this information and provide guidance and knowledge back to our clients about what it all means and how it may it impact the world we know. The most important role we play in our clients’ financial lives is not only to understand the big picture – that is the Market and the global economic system – but to be able to translate how events and changes around the globe impact each individual client and their personal financial plan.
Being able to apply my deep-rooted curiosity in a way that allows our clients to focus on what they truly enjoy doing the most, rather than having to worry about their financial well-being, is a wonderful thing.
Adam and other members of the CCM Investment Team regularly post articles of interest including investment insights, recommended reading on timely topics, and articles on portfolio management which you can find here.
Andrew Hauskins is a Senior Integrated Wealth Advisor for the Carlson Capital Management team. As a Senior Advisor, Andy leads the firm’s Carlson Portfolios platform. Andy partners with clients and their families, providing investment management, retirement modeling, and other aspects of general financial planning and client care that are custom to client needs. In this role, Andy also connects clients with the firm's specialists for overall portfolio management as well as direct access to expertise in areas such as estate planning, tax planning and insurance analysis.
Andy began his career in financial services at Life Investors Insurance Company of Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1998. While at Life Investors, Andy worked in the marketing department training new agents on life insurance, annuities, and basic financial planning techniques. Andy’s career then led him to the Director of Field Services position with CA Marketing, a medical insurance marketing firm in the Twin Cities. While there he gained extensive knowledge of individual health plans, small employer group health plans, short-term medical, and Health Savings Accounts. Andy holds the Certified Financial Planner™ designation granted through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
Andy graduated from Iowa State University in 1997, with a Bachelor of Science degree. In addition to his studies at Iowa State, Andy was a four-year letter winner in track & field. He was recognized as an Iowa State Scholar Athlete for excellence in academics. Andy is an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church and volunteers time with both the Northfield Area Family YMCA and St. Dominic School. He also serves on the Board for the Northfield Fastpitch Softball Association. Andy enjoys coaching his children’s sports teams and playing on the Northfield Millers baseball team. Andy, his wife Annie, and their three children live in Northfield, Minnesota.
“Steel started out as simply a lump of iron,” my father used to say to me, and “only through the relentless work of a blacksmith did it become a critical commodity.” When I was younger, I wasn’t sure why he would share such things with me, though I knew that in this case, he was passing along a quote from his own father. Then, one day during high school track practice, his words became quite valuable for me. I envisioned that the work of a blacksmith was very repetitive, difficult, and required focus in addition to physical discipline. I realized that success might mean continuing to “pound away” at something, as my coach was requiring me to do in sprints. I was ultimately rewarded for my hard work with success on the track, but even more, I was rewarded with discipline as a core value that I continue to carry with me. I certainly don’t claim to practice this perfectly, it is something toward which I strive, and that I try to impart to my own children.
The importance of being disciplined can demonstrate itself in multiple aspects of our lives. It is central to what we do at Carlson Capital Management as well. When the financial markets are challenging, it requires us to practice the discipline we speak of in theory when the markets are working in our favor – that is “staying the course.” We also integrate discipline into the educational, retirement and estate plans we work with clients to create. It is a key element in driving these plans to success.
I thoroughly enjoy working with clients – listening to their stories, hearing about their backgrounds, trying to learn what drives them and what is ultimately important to them. This greatly motivates me in my work in helping them meet and exceed their goals.
Members of the CCM Advisory Team regularly post articles of interest on financial planning which you can find here.
Angie Olson serves as the Marketing/Communications Coordinator for Carlson Capital Management. In this role, Angie facilitates the growth and stability of CCM and its brand through a broad range of marketing and communication initiatives and activities. She provides operational support in the key functions of client communications, marketing activities and materials, and community relations, while helping to lead event management.
Angie is a 2010 graduate from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree. Prior to joining CCM, she worked as a legal assistant with a firm in Northfield, where she supported the team by drafting documents, managing calendars, providing reception duties and supporting the attorneys and office administrator. Angie enjoys volunteering, canoeing and fly fishing. She currently serves as Board Secretary for Northfield Montessori. Angie grew up in the Twin Cities and now lives in Northfield, Minnesota with her husband, Adam, and their two young sons.
When I was younger, my dad bought me a 1952 John Deere Model G tractor for the two of us to restore. I remember watching as the tractor was unloaded onto our back driveway; it was covered in rust, smelled like gas and oil, but was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
I was tasked with the job of filling a tennis-ball sized dent on the tractor’s hood, then sanding the filler until it was flush with the metal. I sanded for hours, stopping periodically as my father reviewed my progress, and waiting patiently for him to say that my work looked complete. I was eager to get the dent filled so the tractor could be painted, and the sanding process felt like it was taking forever! But my father would consistently find ridges and bumps that I had missed, and I would be back to sanding.
It was through the restoration of this tractor that I learned the importance of patience. I learned the importance of putting time and attention into the “little things” as they impact the bigger picture. I keep this lesson close to me as an adult, and find that patience and attention to detail play key roles in my marketing and communications work at CCM. I am constantly seeking to perfect the details in order to enhance our clients’ overall experience.
Ben Carlson is a Paraplanner at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, Ben works closely with the firm’s wealth advisors, collaborating throughout the planning process to deliver comprehensive financial plans to clients. He is responsible for collecting, tracking and monitoring related data, preparing presentation materials and assisting with portfolio management. Ben also facilitates client-advisor communications and works proactively to monitor and complete client-related servicing activities. In addition, he is responsible for a strong working knowledge of and leveraging of firm technology to best serve clients.
Ben graduated magna cum laude from St. Olaf College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and History with a concentration in Finance. While at St. Olaf, Ben participated in four years of varsity tennis, served as team captain and was selected to the all-MIAC team for three years. In his junior and senior years, he participated as a peer tutor in principles of Accounting. Pursuing an entrepreneurial spirit, and after winning a start-up grant, Ben founded and operated Jolly Fly Fishing, LLC for three years, guiding summer fly fishing expeditions in western Wisconsin. Prior to joining CCM, Ben worked as an account representative for a large Twin Cities reinsurance brokerage company. When not at work, Ben continues to enjoy fly fishing, playing tennis and going to the cabin. He also enjoys being involved in the community and serves as a volunteer coach for an inner-city tennis program for their “Super Saturday” programs. Ben grew up in Hastings, Minnesota and now lives in St. Louis Park.
At CCM, we take a great deal of care in learning about the personal background and financial goals of the clients we work with. As a part of this process, a question we often ask is, “Tell us about your first memory of money.” My first memory of money goes back to the lemonade stand I had when I was five years old. The house where I spent my childhood was situated in an oddity of city planning, the double cul-du-sac. One day, I decided to have a lemonade stand at the end of my parents driveway. Needless to say, it was not very successful being tucked away in the back of a cul-du-sac. Somewhere along the line, I decided to put the lemonade stand on my red wagon and move it to the nearby street corner and out of the cul-du-sac. With the increased car and foot traffic on an actual road coupled with the generosity of passersby and an overly enthusiastic five-year-old attitude, my revenues increased substantially. I tucked every dollar bill away into an old leather wallet my grandfather passed down to me. The wallet was so old all the dollar bills stored inside the folds came out smelling like an antique store. At the end of the summer, I had had put $144 into that wallet, a number I still remember. One day, I asked my parents to bring me to Hastings Family Service (the local food shelf), where I plopped on the counter the entire sum I had made that summer.
When I think about this first money memory, for me it's reflecting on what I decided to do with it, and also about seeing money in action and experiencing the joy of hard work coming to fruition. With busy lives, we can all fall into thinking of money as strictly a financial, quantitative asset that we have worked hard to accumulate. While quantitative elements are of course, very important, part of the delight of working at CCM for me is experiencing the qualitative aspects of our approach to integrated wealth management. In looking at financial assets not only relative to their quantitative value, but as a tool to accomplish our goals in life, it helps our clients to experience the joy of seeing their money in action. And while I have grown and aged since my lemonade stand days, my enthusiastic attitude and passion in my approach to work has not.
Benjamin Lane is an Investment Trading Specialist at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, Ben is responsible for monitoring and reviewing client portfolios to maintain balance across asset classes, placing trades through the custodial trading platform, and reviewing daily cash positions. He also actively supports data management and custodial relationships for the firm.
Ben is a graduate of St. Olaf College where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in both Mathematics and Political Science. During his time at St. Olaf, he worked on the campus's natural lands, participated in astronomy club events, as well as in environmental research and projects during the summers. Ben is also an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America and has served as a staff instructor, leading and managing staff development for other instructors.
Ben grew up in Minnesota where he currently resides. He has extensive experience and training in wilderness safety, backpacking, land navigation and back country travel, and spends time outdoors whenever possible. He also enjoys playing sports with friends and is working on building his own kayak.
Bonnie Anderson Rons works with CCM Tax & Trust Administration to provide client servicing related to the tax compliance season. She provides support and client communications to help facilitate all aspects of the tax return process.
Bonnie joined CCM having twenty years of institutional corporate trust account management experience through her work at a national banking institution, as well as municipal bond trading experience. She graduated with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Commercial Economics and Spanish from South Dakota State University, then went on to earn her MBA from the University of St. Thomas. Bonnie also holds the Certified Corporate Trust Specialist (CCTS) designation from the Institute of Certified Bankers.
Bonnie is a member of the Citizen Advisory Council to Flint Hills Refinery, has been named a Dakota County Master Recycler Composter, and volunteers at events to promote sustainability. When not at work, she enjoys travel, gardening, quilting, various outdoor activities, and the local restaurant scene. Bonnie grew up in Brookings, South Dakota and resides in Rosemount, Minnesota with her husband.
Callie Geist is an Integrated Wealth Advisor at Carlson Capital Management. As part of the advisory team, Callie partners with clients and their families, providing the firm's fully integrated wealth management experience including investment management, retirement modeling, estate and educational planning and all other aspects of general financial planning and client care. In this role, Callie also connects clients with the firm's specialists for overall portfolio management as well as direct access to expertise in areas such as tax planning and insurance analysis.
Callie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communication from Creighton University where she graduated cum laude. She went on to earn a Juris Doctor from the Creighton University School of Law, and is a member of Phi Delta Phi, an international legal fraternity. In addition, Callie holds an MBA from Kaplan University, and the Certified Financial Planner™ designation granted through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
Callie joined CCM after serving as a Tax Staff Accountant at a South Dakota company. As a law student and undergraduate, Callie clerked with the Kellogg & Palzer firm in Omaha, Nebraska, and worked in human capital with the SilverStone Company. Callie grew up in Northwest Iowa, and now telecommutes from Omaha where she resides with her husband, Aaron. She is a fan of Minnesota sports teams, enjoys cooking and spending time with her family, friends and her faithful dogs, Brin and Charlotte.
My interest in financial planning began when I was sixteen years old and working at one of my very first jobs. This job was in a wonderful gift shop with a small café in my hometown of Storm Lake, Iowa. I enjoyed every aspect of this job: unpacking merchandise, wrapping gifts, prepping food in the kitchen, waiting on tables, etc. However, my favorite part of the job was getting to know the customers and helping them find exactly what they were looking for. One such customer was Don, a businessperson in his 60’s who was a regular patron of the café. He would come in almost daily at the end of every lunch service. I loved sitting at the table with him and chatting.
During one of our conversations, he shared with me his number one financial recommendation: open a Roth IRA and save 10% of your income into that account. Don’t worry about the dollar amount you’re contributing, he said, but focus on creating the habit. We talked about the impact that this could have on my finances long-term. So I went to the local bank where an incredibly kind woman, Julie, took the time to walk me through opening this account and answer all of my questions. Every two weeks when I was paid, I would go the bank to cash my check and contribute 10% into my Roth IRA. While the dollar amount was small, I felt empowered about making smart financial decisions. I knew that I was doing the best I could with what I had at the time.
In my role as an advisor, I love building strong relationships with my clients and learning about the people and things that matter most to them, the goals and dreams they have, and the things that keep them up at night. Just as Don and Julie helped educate and encourage me many years ago, my goal as an advisor is to walk alongside my clients as they navigate the financial obstacles and opportunities in life, so that they can feel empowered and energized in knowing they are doing the best they can with what they have.
Callie and other members of the CCM Advisory Team regularly post articles of interest on financial planning which you can find here.
Cami Peterson serves as Director of Retirement Plan Services at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, Cami leads the team serving 401(k) and other qualified plan clients. This includes working with plan sponsors, trustees, investment committee members, and plan administrators, to build and optimize successful retirement plans, and with plan participants to provide them with the tools and resources to give them the best chance for a successful retirement.
Cami brought more than twelve years of experience in the financial services industry to her position at CCM. She began her career by earning her CPA designation and working as a senior accountant for a large corporate accounting firm. She then served as a controller for a large home builder before starting as a financial advisor with a leading Twin Cities financial services organization, and subsequently, a regional RIA. During her time as an advisor, Cami developed a passion for working with business owners and plan fiduciaries to design and deliver high quality, effective 401(k) and other qualified plans. She believes the role of retirement plans is to create successful outcomes for employees and optimize business outcomes for employers. She has the depth of experience within the retirement planning industry which allows for a unique and creative approach to design plans that align with corporate goals and objectives. Cami particularly enjoys working with plan participants to provide proactive educational opportunities and resources that position them to maximize their retirement accumulation opportunities.
Cami grew up in the Twin Cities and graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, with a Bachelor's degree in accounting. Shortly following graduation, Cami earned her Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. In addition, she holds the Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC) designation. She has been a member of the American Society of CPAs and the Minnesota Society of CPAs since 1999 and ASPPA since 2011. In 2015, Cami was named a National Association of Plan Advisors Top Women Advisor Captain due to her significant contributions to the retirement planning industry and her role as leader in her firm’s retirement plan division. Outside of work, Cami enjoys spending time with her family at their cabin in northern Minnesota and spending as much time outdoors as possible doing a variety of activities. Her community involvement includes being active with the Autism Society of Minnesota, volunteering for United Way, Feed My Starving Children, and the Sheridan Story. Cami and her husband, Ken, live in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, with their three children.
Chrissy John serves as a Paraplanner at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, she works closely with the firm’s wealth advisors, collaborating throughout the planning process to deliver comprehensive financial plans to clients. She is responsible for collecting, tracking and monitoring related data, preparing presentation materials and assisting with portfolio management. Chrissy also facilitates client-advisor communications and works proactively to monitor and complete client-related servicing activities. In addition, she is responsible for a strong working knowledge of and leveraging of firm technology to best serve clients.
Chrissy is a graduate of Winona State University where she majored in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing. She joined CCM with more than ten years of administrative and office management experience. In her free time, Chrissy enjoys spending time with her family on walks, bike rides, and trips to the local pool. She also always looks forward to the family’s annual trip to the Minnesota State Fair. Chrissy was raised in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, and has returned there with her family. She now lives with her husband, Doug, and their three children on the same street she grew up on.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
This quote by Steve Jobs speaks to my heart and captures the essence of what motivates me to do my best work. Surrounding myself with people who care about what they are doing and the people they are doing it for drives me and inspires me. I love coming to work every single day because I get to be part of something I find rewarding and satisfying. The fact that all of our clients are so friendly and appreciative is just the icing on the cake!
Chris Kuhn serves as a Client Servicing Representative for Carlson Capital Management. Chris is the welcoming colleague you will see when you visit our Hastings office and one of the voices you may hear when you call into the firm. She is responsible for office management, hospitality, scheduling meetings and preparing materials for client presentations. Chris also is a primary contact for account openings, fund transfers and other client account servicing needs. In addition, she works with the Hastings advisory team and specialists by handling key administrative functions.
Chris joined CCM with more than twenty-five years of administrative experience – most recently with the Dakota County Attorney’s office as a Legal Administrative Assistant. Prior to that position, she worked with Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance Company in St. Paul providing support in the office of the Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer. Outside of work Chris enjoys spending time with family and friends at the lake, enjoying the outdoors during the summer. In the winter months she is an avid hockey fan. Chris grew up in Prescott, Wisconsin and she and her family now reside just over the river in Hastings.
As we pack up the car and make our way “up north” to visit our family cabins, I find myself filled with a sense of gratitude and peace. Aside from raising three children to be gracious and successful adults, my husband and I have realized that our happiest times are spent making memories with our friends and family in the quiet of the north. These moments are spent together deepening relationships as we share stories and laughter, goals and dreams.
I feel fortunate that when I am not at the cabin, I get to spend my days at the office building relationships with people I truly enjoy and who share a common drive to help others achieve their dreams and desires. I also really enjoy meeting clients in person and putting a face to the name. This kind of interaction deepens and strengthens the relationships I have with our clients, and makes my work even more meaningful. I am constantly encouraged and impressed by our firm’s commitment to providing the best service to our clients while making sure that my colleagues and I are where we want to be and doing what we do best.
Colleen Schneider serves as a Client Servicing Representative for Carlson Capital Management. She is the welcoming colleague you will see when you visit our Bloomington office and one of the voices you may hear when you call into the firm. Colleen assists clients with account openings, fund transfers and other account servicing needs. In addition, she works with the Bloomington advisory team and specialists by handling key administrative functions. Colleen is responsible for office management, hospitality, scheduling meetings and preparing materials for client presentations.
Colleen’s formal education includes studying fine art and psychology at higher education institutions in Minnesota and Montana. Her most recent professional roles include five years at Eden Prairie School District, three of those as an office assistant, preceded by seven years in production scheduling with a direct mail and marketing company. When not at work, Colleen especially enjoys camping and spending time with her grandsons. Colleen is also an artist primarily painting in acrylic and oils, but is always trying something new. She grew up in Shakopee, Minnesota, and now lives in Burnsville with her husband, Doug, and very near to their three children and six grandchildren.
Colton Higgins is a Paraplanner at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, Colton works closely with the firm’s wealth advisors, collaborating throughout the planning process to deliver comprehensive financial plans to clients. He is responsible for collecting, tracking and monitoring related data, preparing presentation materials and assisting with portfolio management. Colton also facilitates client-advisor communications and works proactively to monitor and complete client-related servicing activities. In addition he is responsible for a strong working knowledge of and leveraging of firm technology to best serve clients.
Colton graduated from Winona State University where he earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Finance and Marketing. During college, Colton served as Chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Business. He was also a member of Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity, where he was the president. Prior to joining the CCM Team, Colton worked with a large cloud-based software provider in the Twin Cities. Hockey has been part of Colton’s life since he was a kid, and he now enjoys refereeing at all levels from youth to college. In the summer months, he enjoys being with family and friends, playing softball and spending time outdoors at the lake. Colton grew up in Fairmont, Minnesota and now resides in St. Paul.
Vince Lombardi once said “Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” This quote resonates deeply with me as I have spent the majority of my life playing for and now working as a team. In an industry where there are many variables and infinite details to consider, I find great joy in the ability to discuss, collaborate, and ultimately make decisions in an atmosphere centered on teamwork. I’m thankful to be part of the Carlson Capital Management team and I know that through our teamwork, it is possible for us to deliver a successful, holistic, and integrated approach to wealth management.
D. Charles (Charlie) Lawson, serves as the Director of Tax Services as part of the Carlson Capital Management team as well as with CCM Tax & Trust Administration. In this role, Charlie provides strategic and operational direction for the firm's tax services and for the tax practice and compliance operations of CCM Tax & Trust Administration. Charlie also works closely with the CCM advisory team to deliver clients fully integrated wealth management services, lending his experience to proactive tax-related planning. Charlie plays a lead role and helps to oversee the preparation, review, and completion of individual and trust tax returns and tax projections. Charlie participates in client meetings, and serves as a tax resource for clients, both individually and collaboratively with other advisors, to develop customized recommendations.
Just prior to joining CCM, Charlie served for five years as accounting manager for a St. Paul CPA firm. In this role, he advised affluent clients in general financial and tax planning in addition to providing tax compliance services –preparing and reviewing individual, gift and fiduciary returns. Prior to that position, Charlie worked as an audit/accounting supervisor for another Twin Cities firm, where he was responsible for the overall servicing of business clients in one of the firm’s key niche sectors. In this role he worked closely with business owners consulting on activities including budgeting, forecasting and cash flow analysis. He began his career in the banking industry where he prepared financial reports for trust accounts in the retirement services area. Charlie is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Minnesota Society of CPAs.
Charlie is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on finance, investments and banking. Outside of work, Charlie enjoys spending time in the outdoors, particularly hunting and fishing. He is also active in the community as a board member of the United Way of Hastings. Charlie and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Hastings with their three children.
Charlie and other members of the CCM Tax Team regularly post articles of interest on tax planning topics which you can find here.
Dan Edwards serves as the Director of Estate Planning as part of the Carlson Capital Management team, and as a Senior Tax Advisor as with CCM Tax & Trust Administration. As the Director of Estate Planning, Dan works closely with the CCM advisory team to deliver estate planning expertise and proactive tax planning as part of the fully integrated wealth management experience. As a member of the Tax Team, Dan has responsibility for preparation, review, and completion of individual and trust tax returns and tax projections. Dan also participates in client meetings, and serves as a tax resource for clients, providing service both individually and collaboratively with other advisors, to develop customized recommendations.
Prior to joining CCM, Dan spent twenty-four years in the Senior Tax Director role with RSM US, LLP, where he was responsible for leading the successful growth of the trust and estate tax practice for their Rochester, Minnesota office. He comes to us with extensive knowledge and expertise in the tax planning and compliance sector through his service as the tax director for individual, trust, estate, and corporate clients. Dan is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Dan is a graduate of the University of Iowa where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting. He enjoys volunteering and has recently partnered with Community Food Response, Feed My Starving Children, and several other organizations in the Rochester area. Outside of his work life and volunteer activities, Dan enjoys spending time outdoors and riding his bike. Dan and his wife Stacy reside in Rochester, Minnesota and have three grown children.
As soon as I started my first job after college my mother gave me some great advice--she said, “It’s not now much money you make, it’s how much you save." Over time, I began to see the additional benefit of my savings from the compound growth of the interest and dividends.
Several years ago, I decided to run a marathon, but after committing to it began to question whether I could actually do it. A friend of mine advised me to start training early and to increase my training mileage by 10% each week. I wasn’t sure I could complete the marathon, but I knew I could run 10% more than the prior week. After about four months of weekly 10% increases, my training runs were long enough that I knew completing the marathon was possible. I also began to realize how many things in life increase by compounding: knowledge, learning, relationships, and building good habits, to name a few.
It’s important to take the time to make sure all of the non-financial goals in your life also compound in growth if you believe, “The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money."
The one thing that has impressed me the most as I've joined CCM is the collaborative team approach we engage in to serve our clients. Having six or seven financial advisors, each with different areas of expertise, work on a client’s financial plan is clearly the best approach - producing results similar to the concept of compounding.
Debbie Blackwell serves as a Tax Specialist for Carlson Capital Management. She excels in creating an efficient, organized work environment and provides key administrative support to our integrated tax team.
Debbie has devoted her career to extending behind-the-scenes assistance to bolster high-performing organizations, most recently serving as the Executive Assistant & Office Manager for a financial and legal advisory firm in the Twin Cities. She is a skilled multi-tasker and has a keen eye for detail.
Debbie lives in Savage, Minnesota, with her husband Tom. Debbie enjoys trips to the family cabin in Ely, Minnesota, gardening, and crafts. Debbie is an active volunteer and frequently attends Zuhrah Shriner events. Debbie and Tom love being grandparents to their four grandchildren.
Ginger Church serves as Executive Assistant to the Principals at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, she supports the development and management of the firm. Ever focused on the team approach, Ginger continually looks for ways to align details with people for a positive client experience. She is your connection in the Northfield office if you are not able to reach Greg or Justin.
Ginger grew up on a family farm in Kasson, Minnesota and graduated from Winona State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Paralegal Studies. For 30 years she supported litigation attorneys as a legal assistant/paralegal, focusing on client contact, jury studies, investigations, and document analysis. Her roles grew to include management of litigation department paralegals and teams of case assistants/paralegals for national, multi-party litigation, as well as Office Manager for a Minneapolis presence of two Chicago law firms. Her keen eye for detail and project management was put to further use in 1992 when she assumed an Administrative Assistant role for the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association’s Symposium on the Future of the Civil Jury System with the Brookings Institution. Most recently, she was a Litigation Paralegal for Greene Espel, P.L.L.P. in Minneapolis.
Apart from her professional life, Ginger and her husband Steve are co-owners of Church Landscape in Kenyon, Minnesota, where she focuses her involvement on landscape design and sales. Ginger and Steve also raise registered Columbia and Suffolk sheep at Morning Meadows Farm in Kenyon. During the winter lambing season you will find her in the barn helping Steve and their dog, Josie, with the newborn lambs, and on occasion, mothering an orphan lamb in the warmer comfort of their basement.
Volunteerism is an important part of Ginger’s community involvement. She is a Past President of the Minnesota Paralegal Association, and former board member of the Kenyon Arts Council and Paradise Center for the Arts in Faribault. Ginger also served for two years as a co-chair for the 5th Bridge Feed My Starving Children meal packing event. Ginger is current President of The Merlin Players and co-pianist for Prairieville United Methodist Church. Her passions include theater, music, literature, letter writing, animal care, needlework, design and architecture, and the quiet of an early Sunday morning in the country.
Stories of a life: a tale of the windings through various landscapes that have made us who we are. No one sits and becomes. Rather, we seek, stretch, and stumble to our current plain, only to experience sunrises and sunsets that continually change us. I have had a walking journey, traveling from a farm girl childhood through big city law firms and into Carlson Capital Management. Against the prevailing current, my stories are no longer in line with the expected. Rather, as the Persian mystic and poet Rumi said, “Start walking … then comes the moment of feeling the wings you’ve grown lifting,” and the landscape changes. The constant, however, is the deep and lasting relationships that create the authenticity of my life. As a child, my mother and father encouraged me to complement my daily chicken chores with music, literature and art; in the process they taught me humility and gratitude. My siblings, even today, broaden my understanding of compromise and companionship. Friends, some forever and others new, stretch me to find their passions and meld them with mine. Workmates energize my dedication to purpose and a job well done. My husband, as partner in life and enterprise, demonstrates by example the significance of integrity and excellence. Experiences have become stories: the fundamental values enriched by my journey have strengthened and simplified. My wings now open to a new prevailing wind like the sail catching the late morning gust of mist and sun.
As I serve Carlson Capital Management, working closely with Greg, Jeff and Justin, I offer my authentic voice in service to you. What is important to you is important to me. I handle your stories, those past and those yet to be told, with personal dedication, focus, and respect. Our landscapes will change as our stories unfold, but the authentic care you experience at Carlson Capital Management will remain consistent and genuine.
Haley Jochum serves as a Client Servicing Representative for Carlson Capital Management. Haley is the welcoming colleague you will see when you visit our Rochester office and one of the voices you may hear when you call into the firm. She is responsible for office management, hospitality, scheduling meetings and preparing materials for client presentations. Haley is also a primary contact for account openings, fund transfers and other client account servicing needs. In addition, she works with the Rochester advisory team and specialists by handling key administrative functions.
Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management. During her time at Minnesota State, Haley was involved in the Econ Club, Sport Management Association, Rock Climbing Club and the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. Haley also worked as a marketing and promotions intern for the athletic department, and spent summers as an event operations intern with the Rochester Amateur Sports Commission. Haley worked in the bakery at Hy-Vee for six years, at both Mankato and Rochester locations, until joining CCM.
Haley enjoys being active in the community. Over the years she has volunteered with many local organizations such as Rochester youth sports, the United Way, and Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. Haley currently volunteers with the organization "Girls on the Run." In her free time, Haley enjoys playing and coaching softball, playing volleyball, and spending time with friends and family. She also teaches both competitive and recreational classes at a dance studio in Rochester. Haley grew up in Rochester, Minnesota and is happy to have returned there after college.
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” - Andrew Carnegie
As someone who grew up as an athlete, teamwork has always played an important part of my life. From childhood sports, to a collection of internships throughout college, I have always valued being a part of a team. My studies of Sport Management in college allowed me to examine the inner workings of why some teams are so successful; it boils down to the team’s commitment to one another and a common goal.
Working at CCM, I get to see that same commitment every day through the care our clients and colleagues receive from our knowledgeable, dedicated, and supportive team. The commitment each colleague of CCM gives to our clients, one another, and our vision, is the reason I feel so fortunate to be part of such a great team.
James Michael Yaworski serves as Senior Investment Strategist at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, James is responsible for investment research, portfolio management, and client investment education. James monitors and reviews client portfolios to maintain balance across asset classes, makes recommendations for portfolios when out of alignment with models, reviews daily cash positions, and places trades through the custodial trading platform. He also provides new client portfolio analysis, asset class/portfolio research and analysis, prepares and presents client education materials, and manages other activities in support of overall client portfolio management.
James is a graduate of Northern Illinois University where he earned his degree in Finance. While studying at NIU, he gained insights into his future career as part of a student-managed portfolio team. Prior to joining CCM, James’ experience included working in the roles of investment manager, project manager in investment research, and financial analyst in both large and small financial organizations. James holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA Charter) designation, granted by the CFA Institute, which entails a rigorous exam requirement. He also represents CCM as chair of the investment research committee of Zero Alpha Group, a national network of eight independent wealth management firms.
In addition to the research James conducts related to building strong client portfolios, he is engaged in research on approaches that enhance institutional experiences as well. His most recent work sets out to provide institutional investors with a more robust way of constructing spending policies. In a paper published in the Financial Analysts Journal, James shows how current practices create poor long-term outcomes, resulting in declining support for beneficiaries over time. He also demonstrates how current methods expose trustees to significant fiduciary risk, and how small errors in implementation can have significant long-term ramifications on portfolio growth. His in-depth and thoughtful research stems from his genuine interest in providing university, public and private foundations, and endowment trustees with an approach that not only optimizes the outcomes of their portfolio’s performance, but also addresses their fiduciary responsibility with regard to spending policies. [You can read the accepted manuscript of James' paper here.]
James enjoys being engaged in the community with Habitat for Humanity and Paws & Claws. In his free time he also enjoys golfing and playing softball. James grew up in Crystal Lake, Illinois and now resides in Rochester, Minnesota with his wife, Brittany, their daughter, and two dogs, Frankie and Jordy.
“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” -Mother Teresa
I have grown to appreciate the importance of collaboration and teamwork in this industry. A group of individuals, each dedicated toward expertise in their respective fields, can help to piece together the puzzle of a family’s financial lives in an incredible manner. The end result is one which truly connects the math of an individual’s personal finances with the why that makes up who they are and what they want to achieve in life.
As a member of our investment team, I enjoy every aspect of this process; from our discovery meetings where we learn about financial goals, to the analysis and construction of a financial plan, to the educational meetings where we help put all the pieces into place. Ultimately, building a relationship with clients that centers on creating financial security and establishing confidence in their financial plan is extremely gratifying.
James and other members of the CCM Investment Team regularly post articles of interest including investment insights, recommended reading on timely topics, and articles on portfolio management which you can find here.
Jason Kley is the Director of Financial Planning and a Senior Integrated Wealth Advisor at Carlson Capital Management. As a Senior Advisor, Jason partners with clients and their families providing the firm's fully integrated wealth management experience including investment management, retirement modeling, estate, philanthropic and educational planning and all other aspects of general financial planning and client care. In this role, Jason also connects clients with the firm's specialists for overall portfolio management as well as direct access to expertise in areas such as tax planning and insurance analysis. In addition, Jason is a member of the firm's investment committee, helping to advise on investment practices and strategies. Jason also serves as the Director of Financial Planning, ensuring all processes related to the integrated wealth management functions and delivery of CCM’s client experience are aligned with the strategic mission and vision of the firm, meeting or exceeding operational expectations, and consistently administered across all geographic and functional locations.
Jason holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Math and Computer Science from the University of St. Thomas where he graduated magna cum laude in 1998. He went on to earn an MBA with an emphasis in Finance and Strategy from Washington University in St. Louis. As a graduate student Jason was recognized for his strong leadership in being named a Leadership Fellow and Dean’s Special Service award recipient. Jason holds the Certified Financial Planner™ designation granted through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, as well as an Accredited Investment Fiduciary professional designation, awarded by the Center for Fiduciary Studies. The AIF designation affirms the highest in fiduciary standards of care for CCM clients.
Before joining the CCM team, Jason worked for a Minneapolis wealth management firm where he served as a financial advisor, investment committee member, and 401k plan specialist. Prior to that, Jason worked for Thrivent Financial and Union Pacific, serving in business analyst and strategic operational roles.
In 2015, Jason joined the Financial Planning Association of Minnesota Board and was elected President of the organization for 2018. He has also serves on the Minnesota Jump$tart Board. He is a past member of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce DRIVE Emerging Leaders Board, BestPrep’s Minnesota Business Venture Advisory Committee, and the City of St. Louis Park Police Advisory Commission. In addition, Jason volunteers his time through the University of St. Thomas and the Financial Matters program of BestPrep, speaking to high school and college students about financial principles. He is also a member of the Children's Minnesota Foundation Legacy Advisors. Jason was awarded the BestPrep Volunteer of the Year in 2016 and named the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leader of the Year in 2009. He has been featured in various publications including Minnesota Business, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Outside of work, Jason enjoys spending time with family, playing softball and golf, and traveling. Jason, his wife Sheila, and their two young sons reside in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
With each passing year, I find that I am placing an increased emphasis on being focused. On the surface, having focus seems to run counter to the priority our society places on multi-tasking. In reality, the more focus one has—the more efficient they really are. When I’m able to focus on a conversation, I can understand more clearly and develop relationships through more attentive listening. When I am truly engaged with someone, it means putting down my mobile device, listening, and asking questions. If I’m focused on a project, I’m more effective, I’m learning more and am producing better outcomes. As I am playing with my children, I’m focused on inspiring their creativity and teaching them life lessons. Nothing else matters at that moment in time. Focus allows me to prioritize the things that are important in life, and allows me to drown out the noise that I cannot control. Focusing on things that are important forces me to move beyond the things that are not.
I enjoy working with our clients at CCM and I appreciate the opportunity to focus on what I can do to help them meet their goals, and allow them to focus on what matters most to them.
Jason and other members of the CCM Advisory Team regularly post articles of interest on financial planning which you can find here.
Jessica Hayes is the Senior Technology Officer at Carlson Capital Management. Jessica works as part of the Operations & Technology team at the firm and is responsible for effective and efficient management of hardware, software, and cybersecurity for the firm. Jessica provides direct technical support for colleagues in addition to providing training on hardware and software, and leveraging the use of multiple devices. She also works with the Operations & Technology team on project management and provides leadership, training, and work direction for the technical support team.
Jessica earned an Associate in Arts degree from Anoka-Ramsey Community College. She also attended the University of Minnesota – Duluth, where she completed coursework in Computer Science. Jessica joined RE/MAX Results in 2011 and provided technical support and training to real estate agents and office staff. When she’s not working, Jessica enjoys photography and discovering new bike trails. She is a Minnesota native and currently resides in Northfield, Minnesota with her cats Max and Dexter, and her dog, Elliot.
When I was about three or four, in a burst of creative energy, I decided to draw a portrait of my dad. On our car. With a rock. When my mom saw it, she was understandably upset and I repeatedly assured her that it would be okay because the drawing would wash off. She asked how on earth I was planning to wash it off. So naturally, I picked up a handful of sand and started walking toward the car. She stopped me just in time, but had to laugh because she knew I was right.
The idea here is that I’ve known how to fix things from a very young age, but my solutions have become much more sophisticated as I’ve grown older. I am thankful that the work that I do at Carlson Capital Management offers me the opportunity to find creative answers to tough problems.
Jill Metz serves as a Client Servicing Representative for Carlson Capital Management. Jill is the welcoming colleague you will see when you visit our Northfield office and one of the voices you may hear when you call into the firm. She is responsible for office management, hospitality, scheduling meetings and preparing materials for client presentations. Jill is also a primary contact for account openings, fund transfers and other client account servicing needs. In addition, she works with the Northfield advisory team and specialists by handling key administrative functions.
Jill is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota where she majored in Public Relations. Following college she worked in the television industry and as an account manager in marketing before beginning a career in the event industry. Jill joined CCM with more than ten years of experience working with clients as a catering manager. Jill is actively engaged in the community and has chaired the Laura Baker Services Gala for seven years. In her free time, Jill enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching sports, being outdoors, and trying out new restaurants. Jill (Topp) grew up in Northfield and is happy to be raising her two children there with her husband, Justin.
In my previous work as a catering manager I had the opportunity to work with Carlson Capital Management on several of their events—both for clients and for their own colleagues. I will always remember the first colleague event I catered. Before they sat down for dinner, all of the colleagues (significant others included) stood in a circle holding hands and were thanked for their contributions to the firm by Greg, Jeff and Justin. As I stood and observed this first-hand, I turned to my then colleague and told her I was going to be a part of that someday. The way they spoke to their team, the pride they carried, and the appreciation they expressed was nothing I had ever been part of in my career—and my soul desired it. They truly cared for each individual standing in that room.
This same care goes into the work CCM does for its clients each day. Since joining the team, I continue to be impressed with the commitment, care and respect I observe and experience from each CCM colleague. I feel so fortunate to have found a home here—surrounded by people who challenge me in my work to give my best self in everything I do.
As Chief Wealth Advisor at Carlson Capital Management, John is responsible for all CCM advisory functions, business development initiatives and for the talent management of advisory team members. In this role, he leads the firm's strategic, operational, and tactical activities related to the overall wealth management experience for clients, ensuring that delivery of CCM’s client experience is aligned with the mission and vision of the firm. In addition, as a member of the senior management team, John works closely with the President and the Board on the development of the firm's annual and long-term strategic plans.
John brought more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry to his position at CCM. He began his career with Charles Schwab & Co. at the St. Paul, Minnesota branch, and held roles with progressive responsibility leading to his position as Vice President and Branch Manager which he held for eight years. In that role, John worked directly with clients and their families on all aspects of wealth management, while leading successful teams of advisors. His business development acumen earned him the Chairman’s Club Platinum Award. While at Schwab, John led the efforts to open and manage the offices in St. Paul as well as Rochester, MN and Sioux Falls, SD. John then transitioned to serving clients with trust administration and portfolio management. From there, John served in a Sr. Vice President and Managing Director role, where he spent six years serving clients and leading the Trust Fiduciary teams for the Minneapolis St. Paul markets of a large national banking institution. His professional experience includes working with clients on all aspects of wealth management and financial planning, and managing teams of financial professionals in their service to clients.
John grew up in Scandia, Minnesota, and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor's degree in Finance. He holds the Certified Financial Planner™ designation granted through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, as well as the Certified Trust Financial Advisor and Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy credentials.
John's involvement in the community has included active engagement with the YMCA-Twin Cities, Northeast branch where he served on the board for a number of years and continues on as a legacy board member. When not at work, John enjoys family time at the cabin near the Brainerd lakes area, as well as hunting and fishing. John and his wife, Krista, live in Mahtomedi and have two daughters.
Judd Lohmann is a Senior Integrated Wealth Advisor at Carlson Capital Management. As a Senior Advisor, Judd partners with clients and their families providing the firm's fully integrated wealth management experience including investment management, retirement modeling, estate, philanthropic, and educational planning and all other aspects of general financial planning and client care. In this role, Judd also connects clients with the firm's specialists for overall portfolio management as well as direct access to expertise in areas such as tax planning and insurance analysis. In addition, Judd is a member of the firm's investment committee, helping to advise on investment practices and strategies.
After graduating from St. Olaf College in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, Judd went on to receive his MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota with a concentration in Finance. He began his career at Honeywell in Minneapolis, where for three years he conducted capital planning and investment analysis. For the following twenty-one years Judd was employed by IDS/American Express Financial Advisors/Ameriprise, serving in a financial leadership capacity in several areas: in the Real Estate Department he was the principal financial analyst for the new corporate office center; in the Advisor Technology Department he led the financial analyst team that helped redesign the sales tools and processes, and in the Treasury Department he was responsible for investor and rating agency relationships and preparation/coordination of monthly meetings of the corporate Balance Sheet Management Committee.
Judd has been involved with and supported various organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Over and Back, the Boy Scouts of America, a Circle of Service volunteer group, and Emmaus Church of Northfield, Minnesota. He and his wife Susan enjoy living in Northfield, where they have raised their three children.
The concept of integration is an important one for me, and has become more so throughout my life. I want my life to be integrated, to have the pieces fit well and make sense together. And the word integration shares a common root with another word that is significant to me. This word is integrity, and for me personally it means being the same person wherever I am and whoever I am with – living as a person of integrity.
I believe these principles can carry over into the financial component of one’s life. A financial plan is optimized when it is well aligned and integrated with one’s goals and intended legacy. It is essential that our clients feel secure knowing that, not only is there a plan in place, but also that this plan is being prudently monitored and managed to ensure that their goals and legacy are consistent with their intentions. It is our job to listen carefully to your goals, help establish a course that provides the best means to set it in motion, and then to work with you to stay on the established course or respond appropriately to life changes.
Judd and other members of the CCM Advisory Team regularly post articles of interest on financial planning which you can find here.
Kat Noble Moore serves as CRM Database Administrator for Carlson Capital Management. In this role, Kat serves as the primary database management, development, and administration resource for the firm. She also works on data analysis and integrity; develops and manages reports; provides technical training; provides support and analysis to support operational efficiency, and partners with vendors and business partners to seamlessly integrate systems. Kat is also responsible for reviewing systems and supporting projects that assist firm colleagues in their work with clients.
Kat holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Creative Advertising and Graphic Design from Drake University where she was both a Presidential and Fine Arts scholar. She also competed on the rowing team, serving as team captain both her Junior and Senior years, leading the team to win the MAAC Conference Championship as well as a Gold medal in the Dad Vail Regatta. Kat joined CCM with six years of professional experience serving in several corporate roles, with progressive responsibility, involving CRM database implementations and account management. Kat has worked for leading organizations, such as 3M, Infor, EMC Publishing, and Oxford University Press.
In her free time, Kat enjoys rowing, cooking, traveling, playing/listening to music and spending time with friends and family. Kat grew up in the Minneapolis area and now resides in South Minneapolis with her wife, Elizabeth, and Chihuahua, Finnegan.
Katy Vermeer is a Senior Integrated Wealth Advisor at Carlson Capital Management. As a Senior Advisor, Katy partners with clients and their families providing the firm's fully integrated wealth management experience including investment management, retirement modeling, estate, philanthropic and educational planning and all other aspects of general financial planning and client care. In this role, Katy also connects clients with the firm's specialists for overall portfolio management as well as direct access to expertise in areas such as tax planning and insurance analysis.
Katy joined CCM with more than thirty years of experience in financial services, including nearly a decade of serving clients by advising on all aspects of wealth management. Prior professional roles include leading business development initiatives, portfolio management, product management, and marketing. Katy worked most recently as Director of the Wealth Strategies Group with a firm in the Twin Cities. In addition to serving as a wealth advisor for clients and their families, Katy was instrumental in implementing a wealth planning platform, deepening the discovery process for firm clients, leading wealth planning workshops and contributing to the firm’s client education communications.
Katy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Business from DePauw University. Katy has also attained the Certified Financial Planner™ designation granted through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
When not at work, Katy enjoys being active outdoors. She loves using the lakes and parks of Minneapolis any time of the year. She and her husband, Kerry, live in Southwest Minneapolis. They have three grown children.
Doing well and doing good are both really important to me. This message related to excellence and responsibility is one that has always resonated with me and I work to incorporate it into my daily living, both at work and at home. At CCM when I am doing well for our clients I know that I am positively affecting their lives. By encouraging them to be purposeful about their wealth, I am hopeful that good happens, whether that is with the resources they use for themselves, their families or for the community.
Katy and other members of the CCM Advisory Team regularly post articles of interest on financial planning which you can find here.
Kelly Irvine is Director of Marketing & Communications for Carlson Capital Management. She oversees the firm’s marketing plans and project implementation; client communications and appreciation activities; event management and community involvement, all with an eye on keeping our clients’ experience at the forefront.
Kelly graduated with departmental distinction in Political Science from St. Olaf College in 1992, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude. Her career took her to Montana, Idaho and Wisconsin before a return to Minnesota in 2003. Kelly’s professional background spans both the corporate and non-profit sectors. She has held corporate management positions in community relations and human resources. Just prior to joining CCM she worked as a development officer at the University of St. Thomas.
Community involvement is important to Kelly. She was selected as a Policy Fellow at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, where she was a 2004-2005 participant. Past activities have included volunteer advisory committee service at St. Dominic School and co-chairing 5th Bridge-Feed My Starving Children Northfield meal-packing events. Kelly is a past board member of the Northfield Area Family YMCA and of the Helena Education Foundation. Kelly, her husband Colin, and their two children spent the 2010-2011 school year living in and working from Oslo, Norway. She now telecommutes from Sioux Falls, South Dakota where she resides with her family.
Like many Minnesotans, I grew up with the privilege of “going to the Lake” in the summer. (Much to the chagrin of my spouse, who hails from the West, we Midwesterners never really bother to specify which lake. It’s just the Lake.) Not unlike many families in this area, I am fortunate in that early ancestors from Norway had the foresight to purchase lake front land where they wasted no time establishing family traditions – including an annual July 4th celebration. And while land is simply land, it’s our “landscape” that helps describe the essence of who we are. For me that landscape, and more precisely “the Lake,” is really all about family.
I recall my wedding day as guests came out of the chapel to greet us in the receiving line. My new mother-in-law from out of state stood next to me as I introduced her to many unfamiliar faces. She remarked later that every other person was “a cousin from the Lake.” How right she was. In our family, it doesn’t matter if one is a first cousin, a third cousin twice-removed, or the spouse of a second cousin – we are just cousins. Cousins range from several months old to those in their nineties, and, oddly enough, we consider ourselves part of an “immediate” family, even though the number of us easily exceeds a couple hundred. We all grew up spending summers at the Lake, and we were always accountable to the aunts in the generation (or two) ahead of us. We are there for one another’s weddings, funerals and sometimes birthdays. We look forward to sharing kransekake and rommegrot. We are intent on ensuring that our children know our cousins’ children. So, to know me is to know that I am a wife and a mother, a daughter and a sister, a grand-daughter, and, of course, “a cousin.”
All of us at CCM look forward to learning your story, because that is how we at CCM have defined ourselves as a company, and that is how we will continue to define ourselves in the future. We must know you and your story before we can help you accomplish what is important to you.
Kevin Koski serves as Principal Tax Advisor at Carlson Capital Management and with CCM Tax & Trust Administration. Kevin works closely with the advisory team to deliver clients fully integrated wealth management services, lending his experience to proactive tax-related planning. As a senior member of the Tax Team, Kevin plays a lead role and helps to oversee the preparation, review, and completion of individual and trust tax returns and tax projections. Kevin participates in client meetings, and serves as a tax resource for clients, both individually and collaboratively with other advisors, to develop customized recommendations.
Kevin came to CCM with strong expertise having worked with clients at a St. Paul CPA firm for fifteen years. In his role there, Kevin provided leadership and direction for the firm’s tax services practice, and advised clients on income & estate tax matters. Kevin was also an advisor on general financial planning topics such as stock option analysis, charitable planning and gifting strategies for high-net-worth individuals and families. Kevin is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Minnesota Society of CPAs.
Kevin grew up in Virginia, Minnesota and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting. Shortly following graduation, Kevin earned his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) status. Outside of work, Kevin has three children and enjoys volunteering as a coach and assistant with their athletic teams. Kevin and his family reside in South Minneapolis.
Kevin and other members of the CCM Tax Team regularly post articles of interest on tax planning topics which you can find here.
Kim Diemer serves as an Associate Integrated Wealth Advisor at Carlson Capital Management. As part of the advisory team, Kim works with clients on all aspects of planning and portfolio management within the firm’s Integrated Wealth Management platform. Of her many responsibilities, she places particular emphasis on maintaining on-going communication with clients to ensure an exceptional experience.
Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tulane University. During her time at Tulane, she served as a student government representative and was President of the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team. Following college, Kim served for a year as an AmeriCorps Fellow in New Orleans, Louisiana. She then went on to earn a Master of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning from Texas Tech University, where she was Vice-President of Red to Black Peer Financial Coaching, a group that provided one-on-one financial coaching for other students. Kim is a candidate for CFP® certification.
Kim joins CCM with experience as a financial planning intern with a Twin Cities wealth advisory firm, and three years’ experience working as an office manager for the Public Defender’s Office in New Orleans. In her free time, Kim likes to explore running trails and restaurants in the Twin Cities and spend time with friends and family. Kim is originally from Grand Junction, Colorado, and now resides in South Minneapolis.
Pull out a $20 from your wallet. You don't have to look at the number to know what denomination it is, with the familiar face of Andrew Jackson on the front. When you look at details of his face, you see a furrowed brow, a slightly dropped chin, unconstrained hair, and eyes looking toward the future. Cold, hard cash seems to soften in the hand when you contemplate the expressions of a man at the center of conflict and hopes of someone who led a nation.
I find that for the vast majority of people, wealth is not about the number on the bill or the size of the number on the statement. Achieving financial success is about the same concerns of the face on that bill. Having financial success represents hopes that are unique to each person -- it could mean quality time with loved ones, a comfortable life, exploration through travel, or joy in generosity.
As a daughter of two perpetual volunteers, my greatest satisfaction is when I can create a positive impact on the lives of others. Through building trusting relationships, I am committed to helping achieve well-being in whatever form that takes for our clients.
Leah Rich is Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications at Carlson Capital Management. Leah provides strategic communications direction and implementation support to enhance the client experience and build brand awareness.
Leah is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies and management. Prior to joining the Carlson Capital Management team, Leah worked for fifteen years at a marketing agency, developing and implementing integrated communications strategies for clients across a variety of industries.
Leah enjoys quiet walks, good books, a houseful of guests, and family puzzles. Leah is a current board member of WINGS and active volunteer at Emmaus Church and Northfield Montessori. Leah shares her life with her husband, Matthew, and their four children. Together they reside in Northfield, Minnesota.
As a mom, I often think about the legacy I’ll leave for my children. What about me will they remember most? My six-year-old recently described me to his classmates by sharing that I’m really good at UNO – yes, the card game!
Although my name won’t ever be found in an UNO hall of fame, I hope that my legacy is centered on excellence – giving everything I can in every instance. I’ve found – time and time again – that my work ethic and can-do attitude are difference makers, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to partner with colleagues who share in a commitment to giving their very best at every turn.
As a Senior Client Servicing Representative for Carlson Capital Management, Lynall Malecha serves both new and current clients with all aspects of account management including activities such as account openings, fund transfers, online access, and many other key account servicing needs. In addition, Lynall provides office management and client hospitality and works with the firm’s advisors by handling central administrative and servicing functions. She also serves as a lead within the firm's team of client servicing representatives establishing and ensuring high standards of care for CCM's clients, and providing leadership, training and work direction.
Lynall joined CCM with more than fifteen years of experience in commercial insurance, including client and policy servicing as an account manager. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading and gardening. Lynall is a Northfield, Minnesota native, and lives in the country outside of town with her husband Mike, where they raised their two daughters.
I consider myself very fortunate to have a job that excites and energizes me. When I walk through the doors of CCM in the morning, I know that I am walking into an atmosphere where we are all dedicated to serving our clients. I have found that our clients here are unlike any others I have encountered in previous companies I've worked for. They are kind, genuine, and caring, and also invest the time into getting to know the colleagues of our firm. Some of my favorite days at work have been when I've had clients sitting at my desk sharing updates about their families or their plans for winter vacations. I am grateful for the opportunity to deepen relationships with our clients while helping them build a financially secure future.
Mary Keller is the Operations Manager for Carlson Capital Management. In this role, Mary devotes herself to ensuring the smooth operation and ongoing enhancement of CCM’s portfolio/financial management software. Mary manages the integrity of the firm’s investment data including accurate reporting, billing, and oversight of the Client Portal to enrich the client experience.
Mary’s depth of experience includes more than 30 years in the wealth management industry. Mary is a proven leader who skillfully balances the development and implementation of strategic and tactical initiatives, and continually seeks to develop workflows and leverage technology to create efficiencies for clients and colleagues.
Mary is a graduate of St. Cloud State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in business finance with an emphasis in computer science. Mary enjoys time with her family and being outdoors—especially taking long walks with her dog, snow skiing, and vacationing to destinations below the 30th parallel north. Mary and her husband, Pete, live in Excelsior, Minnesota. They have two adult children and a lively Miniature Australian Shepherd.
As a Senior Client Servicing Representative for Carlson Capital Management, Mary Schubbe serves both new and current clients with all aspects of account management including activities such as account openings, fund transfers, online access, and many other key account servicing needs. In addition, Mary provides office management and client hospitality and works with the firm’s advisors by handling central administrative and servicing functions. She also serves as a lead within the firm's team of client servicing representatives establishing and ensuring high standards of care for CCM's clients, and providing leadership, training and work direction.
Mary joined CCM with more than twenty-five years of experience in customer service management, sales administration, project management, and operations support roles. Client servicing combined with managing multiple projects simultaneously has been a common thread in Mary’s career. When she’s not working, Mary enjoys attending her children’s sports activities and gardening. Mary grew up in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota and now resides in Bloomington with her spouse and two children.
Matt Morehead is a Senior Integrated Wealth Advisor at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, Matt partners with clients and their families, providing the firm's fully integrated wealth management experience including investment management, retirement modeling, estate and educational planning and all other aspects of general financial planning and client care. In this role, Matt also connects clients with the firm's specialists for overall portfolio management as well as direct access to expertise in areas such as tax planning and insurance analysis.
Matt joined CCM with more than ten years of experience serving the wealth management needs of affluent individuals and families in various leadership roles at firms in both Denver, Colorado and Baltimore, Maryland. Matt received his Bachelor of Science degree, with honors, from the United States Coast Guard Academy, and began his career as a Coast Guard Officer in Duluth, Minnesota, driving an ice-breaking and search-and-rescue ship on Lake Superior. After his shipboard tour in Duluth, he then went back to the Coast Guard Academy as an admissions officer and leadership instructor, and simultaneously earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law and his Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Matt’s tenure as a wealth advisor followed law school, when he turned in his Coast Guard uniform for a coat and tie to serve people in a different way, helping a small group of individuals and families navigate the often difficult waters of properly managing their wealth.
Matt has been recognized with numerous Coast Guard awards, as a Forty Under Forty rising business leader in Denver, Colorado, and as a Denver area Five Star Wealth Manager for his work with affluent families. Community engagement is a priority for Matt. Through the years he has been an active member with Rotary International, and currently serves on the board of directors for the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce as well as for the pediatric transplant house, Cy's Place. Matt enjoys playing golf, cooking, and being a dedicated hockey dad and chauffeur. Matt, his wife Heather, and their son and daughter reside on the beautiful campus of Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minnesota. Matt is based in CCM's downtown location in Rochester, Minnesota.
When I was a football player at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, there was a saying above our locker room door that read, “Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal.” That quote has stuck with me through the years, having more relevance to me now as an Integrated Wealth Advisor at CCM than as a young cadet at the Academy. I enjoy getting to know each of our clients on a deep level, understanding their goals, and in many cases, helping them to determine and prioritize their goals for the future. I then enjoy partnering with my CCM colleagues in their specific areas of wealth management expertise to make these goals actually happen, continually trying our absolute collective best to jump over, crawl under, or go around the obstacles that can inevitably pop up along the way. Helping our clients do great things with their wealth over time, as defined by them, and witnessing their resulting fulfillment, is extremely gratifying to me. I can’t think of a more worthwhile and satisfying pursuit.
Matt and other members of the CCM Advisory Team regularly post articles of interest on financial planning which you can find here.
Matthew Rich is an Integrated Wealth Advisor at Carlson Capital Management. As part of the advisory team, Matthew partners with clients and their families, providing the firm's fully integrated wealth management experience including investment management, retirement modeling, estate and educational planning and all other aspects of general financial planning and client care. In this role, Matthew also connects clients with the firm's specialists for overall portfolio management as well as direct access to expertise in areas such as tax planning and insurance analysis.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, Matthew went on to receive his Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law. He also holds the Certified Financial Planner™ designation granted through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Before joining CCM, Matthew practiced as an attorney helping individuals and small businesses develop practical solutions to complex legal issues. Throughout his career, he has sought opportunities to merge advocacy and leadership, and currently serves on the board of the Northfield Retirement Community and the Northfield Hockey Association. Matthew is a former board member of the Community Action Center of Northfield and HealthFinders Collaborative. He has also served as President for both Northfield Rotary and Northfield Sertoma. He and his wife, Leah, reside in Northfield, Minnesota, with their four children.
Success can be measured by the quality of the relationships one keeps. Relationships are built on trust and integrity, and the former is established through the unyielding execution of the latter. That is how I approach my work, and I appreciate the opportunity to partner with clients and colleagues who share my values. Our clients deserve our best at every stage in the relationship, and it is exciting to be part of a firm that embraces that responsibility and is constantly looking for new opportunities to deliver an extraordinary client experience.
Matthew and other members of the CCM Advisory Team regularly post articles of interest on financial planning which you can find here.
Nicholas Bonfe is an investment Operations and Trading Specialist at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, Nick serves as part of the investment team and is responsible for data management and the client reporting process. He also serves a role on the trading team where he monitors and reviews client portfolios in order to maintain balance across asset classes, makes recommendations for portfolio realignment, and places trades through the custodial trading platform.
Nick is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, majoring in Finance. He also holds a Series 7 license. During his time at UST, Nick interned for an investment firm, affirming his interest in pursuing the field. He also dedicated time volunteering with the UST Special Olympics Club and playing various intramural sports. Following graduation, Nick spent several years supporting investment operations at a large Twin Cities banking organization, including serving in the role of Team Lead for the business technology analyst team.
Nick grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota where he currently resides. In his free time, he enjoys golfing and spending time at his cabin in northern Minnesota.
Omer Abramovich is an Integrated Wealth Advisor at Carlson Capital Management. As part of the Carlson Portfolios team, Omer partners with clients and their families, providing investment management, retirement modeling, and other aspects of general financial planning and client care that are custom to client needs. In this role, Omer also connects clients with the firm's specialists for overall portfolio management as well as direct access to expertise in areas such as tax planning and insurance analysis.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the College of Charleston, Omer went on to earn his MBA from The Citadel (the military college of South Carolina). He also holds the Certified Financial Planner™ designation granted through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Omer began his career in financial services as a client support coordinator. He joined CCM having worked serving clients for five years as a financial planner at a Twin Cities advisory firm.
Tennis has been a central part of Omer’s life since he was young, growing up in Haifa, Israel, and is what led him to college in the U.S. After college he worked for four years as the founder of Creekside Tennis Academy in Charleston, South Carolina, managing all aspects of the program. When not at work, Omer enjoys spending time with his family and exercising regularly. Omer and his wife are members of Beth El Synagogue, where he also serves as an executive board member. Omer, his wife Tyler and their young son reside in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
In January of 2006, I enrolled at the College of Charleston on a full scholarship for tennis. I arrived with the expectation that I would have a winning record and even that I might lead the team. In reality, I ended up playing in position number four (out of six) with a 50/50 record. At the end of the season, my coach asked me to meet with him in his office. He told me that they hadn’t brought me on to play for the school to demonstrate this poor of a tennis season. He also stated that unless he saw significant improvements in my game, my athletic scholarship would likely be taken away from me.
I took that conversation to heart, and decided that it was time for me to work harder and prove my true talent. I had about eight months for training between the end of the season and the beginning of the next. I was determined to train harder than anyone else and prove to myself, my teammates, and my coach that I was worthy of keeping the scholarship. The hard work paid off and I ended the following season by breaking the school record—that meant winning every single match I played, both in singles and doubles. I was able to keep my scholarship and in the following two seasons, played in the number one position in both singles and doubles—leading the team as captain.
Through this experience I learned to truly value the hard work that pairs with reaching your objectives. I know that all of the clients I work with have their own personal stories of setting and meeting objectives. I respect their histories and background and what inspires them to meet their goals. I truly enjoy partnering with clients, and applying our resources and expertise at the firm to help them reach their financial and life goals.
Members of the CCM Advisory Team regularly post articles of interest on financial planning which you can find here.
Paige Woods serves as a Tax Senior as part of the Carlson Capital Management team as well as with CCM Tax & Trust Administration. Paige works closely with the advisory team to deliver clients fully integrated wealth management services, lending her experience to proactive tax-related planning. As a member of the Tax Team, Paige has responsibility for preparation, review, and completion of individual and trust tax returns and tax projections. She also participates in client meetings, and serves as a tax resource for clients. Paige provides service both individually and collaboratively with other advisors to develop customized recommendations.
Paige’s most recent experience includes four and a half years as a tax senior for a Minneapolis CPA firm. In this role, she worked in a variety of capacities providing tax compliance services –preparing and reviewing individual, fiduciary, partnership and corporate returns. She also reviewed complex gift tax and estate returns and assisted in subsequent tax planning related to estate administration, as well as provided consultative scenario-based tax planning services for clients. Paige also served in a coaching role for early senior-level consultants, providing hands-on technical skills training, mentorship and professional development. Paige is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Paige is a graduate of the University of North Dakota, where she earned her Bachelor of Accountancy, graduating cum laude. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time checking out the foodie and brewery scene in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis with friends and family, especially the pet-friendly places so her bulldog, Cash, can join. Paige grew up in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and now resides in downtown Minneapolis.
“I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning...to the end. He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years; for that dash represents all the time she spent alive on earth, and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth…so when your eulogy is being read with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?"
The above excerpts from “The Dash,” by Linda Ellis may hit home for each of us. For me, these words are a reminder that life is finite and fleeting. Each day that I am lucky enough to wake up, I will behave intentionally and purposefully, always asking myself if my next move will get me a small step closer not only to where I ultimately envision myself, but also if that move will help to get those around me closer to their big picture goals.
We each have the same 24 hours every day that we choose what to do with. My colleagues and I choose to spend our hours each work day serving our valued clients by cultivating relationships and learning their unique stories, cohesively making every decision in each client’s best interests, so they can, in turn, spend their hours continuing to pursue their lifetime passions with peace of mind, knowing their thoughtfully developed wealth plan is in trusted hands.
The CCM Tax Team regularly posts articles of interest on tax planning topics which you can find here.
Pete Roseboom serves as a Senior Tax Advisor as part of the Carlson Capital Management team as well as with CCM Tax & Trust Administration. Pete works closely with the advisory team to deliver clients fully integrated wealth management services, lending his experience to proactive tax-related planning. As a member of the Tax Team, Pete has responsibility for preparation, review, and completion of individual and trust tax returns and tax projections. He also participates in client meetings and serves as a tax resource for clients, providing service both individually and collaboratively with other advisors, to develop customized recommendations.
Prior to joining CCM, Pete’s professional experience included eight years in progressively responsible roles with RSM US LLP in Rochester, Minnesota—most recently as a Lead Tax Manager. Pete's experience has encompassed working in a variety of accounting and tax advice capacities serving clients. He brings extensive experience assisting affluent clients and middle market businesses with their tax compliance and planning needs. Pete is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Pete is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Outside of work, he enjoys golfing, hunting, and spending time with family. Pete is active in the community serving as a board member for Bear Creek Services of Rochester, an organization that provides personalized community life experiences for individuals with developmental disabilities and brain injuries. Both being Rochester natives, Pete and his wife Danelle reside in Rochester, Minnesota with their two children.
The CCM Tax Team regularly posts articles of interest on tax planning topics which you can find here.
Rachel Chacko is a Paraplanner at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, Rachel works closely with the firm’s wealth advisors, collaborating throughout the planning process to deliver comprehensive financial plans to clients. She is responsible for collecting, tracking and monitoring related data, preparing presentation materials and assisting with portfolio management. Rachel also facilitates client-advisor communications and works proactively to monitor and complete client-related servicing activities. In addition, she is responsible for a strong working knowledge of firm technology to best serve clients.
Rachel is an alumna of Grinnell College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and history and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. A recipient of the nationally awarded Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, she earned both a Ph.D. in music theory and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in flute performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to joining Carlson Capital Management, Rachel was a tenured professor of music at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. She is currently a candidate for CFP® certification. Outside of work, Rachel enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, and playing tennis. Rachel, her husband David, and their son and daughter reside in Rochester, Minnesota.
It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that our dear friend and colleague, Sandy Rowan, passed away on Thursday, December 31st. Sandy fought a valiant battle with cancer for the past two years, and within the past month, complications became such that treatment was no longer an option. Sandy was part of the CCM family for sixteen years, and a truly beloved member of the core team that has made CCM what it is today. It is an understatement to say that she will be missed—but there is so much about her that we will miss.
We will miss her warm smile that was there when we walked into the Northfield office every morning. We will miss her maternal supervision of our comings/goings and ensuring we were wearing coats when it was cold. We will miss her laughter and her teasing. We will miss her consistent reminders to advisors about putting things into “the queue.” We will miss getting updates on her beautiful grandchildren, and time at the cabin spent with family. We will just plain miss her consistent, dependable, loyal and caring presence. There will be an empty place in our office, and in our lives.
Sandy’s legacy unquestionably will be ever-present in the lives of her husband, Bill, her two children and their families. In addition, she has left a lasting legacy at Carlson Capital Management. Sandy was central to making our client servicing team what it is today. When she joined CCM she was a very experienced office manager, and new to financial services. What she left was a thriving, efficient operation--always focused on providing clients with the best service possible. Sandy had numerous relationships and friendships with CCM clients who we know will dearly miss her as well.
Godspeed dear friend as you cross this threshold. We are so grateful, Sandy, for the place you filled in our CCM family. Our firm will forever hold for you the place on our team that can be only yours.
As Director of Human Capital, Scott’s responsibilities include the development and management of all colleague-related plans and programs. It is Scott’s mission to ensure that CCM colleagues have the knowledge, skills, abilities and resources required to provide the highest level of service to our clients.
Scott has more than 25 years of experience providing human capital solutions to the financial services industry, with small to large market wealth management firms, banks and their custodians. Prior to joining Carlson Capital Management, Scott was Managing Director of Pepin Consulting, designing talent management solutions for the global wealth management industry, and Managing Principal of the Seabury Group where he worked on Human Resources planning and design engagements for the financial services and retail industries. Prior to Seabury, Scott led the rewards department and was a manager of the talent transformation team at Best Buy, Co. Inc.
Scott grew up in the Twin Cities and graduated from Saint Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights. He also attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, where he studied Business Administration and Finance. Scott is a Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR) and is master certified in multiple talent management disciplines. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences on talent and compensation related issues facing the financial services industry. Scott enjoys being engaged in the community and serves on the board of directors for Artistry (at the Bloomington Center for the Arts). Artistry is a regional arts non-profit serving the community through theater, visual arts, art education and creative place-making programs. Scott resides in St. Paul, and when the weather allows, he spends as much time as he can sailing on Lake Pepin.
Since the very beginning of my career, I have had my internal colleagues as my clients. My feeling has always been that if I put forth my maximum effort into caring for my team, that positive energy would then be transferred directly to our external client relationships. To me, this represents a resolute devotion to our clients. It’s our commitment to them that they will always have the best of our human resources brought to bear when fulfilling their needs.
Whether it is spending time with my family or with friends, I treasure my personal relationships above all else and work hard to make time for each of them. Most of my time outside of the office is spent in this pursuit and, during the summer months at least, sailing in the Minnesota and Wisconsin blufflands on Lake Pepin.
Sue Desrosier serves as the Retirement Plan Client Relationship and Education Manager for Retirement Plan Services at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, Sue is a primary resource for all Retirement Plan Services clients. This includes serving as a servicing contact for all clients, providing support through the preparation and organization of presentations, delivering educational presentations, providing resources to plan participants, and managing all administrative functions of Retirement Plan Services. As a Certified Financial Education Instructor, Sue enjoys meeting with plan participants to answer questions and help them better prepare for a successful retirement.
Sue graduated from Hamline University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and a minor in Psychology. During her time at Hamline, Sue spent a semester studying at the University of Oslo in the Scandinavian Urban Studies program. Prior to joining CCM, Sue worked for eight years servicing and supporting clients through her work at BerganKDV Retirement Solutions and BerganKDV Insurance Solutions. Her previous work experience includes seven years with a private asset group in the Twin Cities. When not working, Sue enjoys traveling, both in the U.S. and outside of the country. She also loves spending time with family, especially at their family farm in Bruno, Minnesota. Sue and her husband Louie, reside in Buffalo, Minnesota.
Up until I was twelve years old, my dad was in the Air Force and my family traveled around the world following his assignments. When my dad retired, we moved to a small hobby farm in northern Minnesota. Talk about culture shock! My childhood had consisted of exotic locations and cultures, and now encompassed milking cows and goats. From my travels, I learned how to embrace diversity and developed an appreciation for meeting new people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. Life on the farm taught me the importance of hard work, responsibility, and compassion. As the Retirement Plan Client Relationship and Education Manager at Carlson Capital Management, I am blessed to have the opportunity to use these lessons in my work with retirement plan participants and plan sponsors. I enjoy assisting plan participants in maximizing the benefit of their retirement account to reach their retirement goals. I also have the pleasure of working with plan sponsor and company owners to assist them with creating and maintaining a retirement plan that meets their needs and goals. Traveling is still a big part of my life; I am usually less than eight months away from an overseas trip.
Tanisha Justus serves in the role of Technology Officer at Carlson Capital Management. Tanisha works as part of the Operations & Technology team at the firm, providing direct technical support for colleagues in addition to providing training on hardware and software. She also supports colleagues in leveraging the use of technology systems, applications and resources in order to best serve clients. She also works with the Operations & Technology team on project management.
Tanisha holds both a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Technology as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management Studies from Northern Arizona University. In addition, she has earned the Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional™ designation from the College for Financial Planning. Tanisha comes to CCM having worked for two years as an IT Specialist with one of CCM’s ZAG member peers in Arizona. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and reading.
Whether it’s at home in my personal life or at work with my colleagues, I enjoy developing meaningful relationships with those I encounter. The relationships I have built with my colleagues and the work that I get to do each day deepens my passion and determination for serving others. I know when a colleague reaches out to me for support, my assistance goes beyond the initial troubleshooting phase, rooting deeper and allowing them to serve our clients with their highest abilities.
Each day presents the opportunity for me to build upon and enhance my skill area and focus, ultimately creating an environment focused on commitment and dedication to both our colleagues and clients.
Teresa Alt serves as a Tax Advisor as part of the Carlson Capital Management team as well as with CCM Tax & Trust Administration. Teresa works closely with the advisory team to deliver clients fully integrated wealth management services, lending her experience to proactive tax-related planning. As a member of the Tax Team, Teresa has responsibility for preparation, review, and completion of individual and trust tax returns and tax projections. She also participates in client meetings and serves as a tax resource for clients, providing service both individually and collaboratively with other advisors, to develop customized recommendations.
Prior to joining CCM, Teresa’s professional experience included seven years in progressively responsible roles in accounting and tax services—most recently as a Tax Manager. Her experience has encompassed working in a variety of accounting and tax advice capacities serving both individual/family clients as well as business owners. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Minnesota Society of CPAs.
Teresa is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Outside of work, she enjoys kayaking, reading, and dog-related activities with her border collie, Riley. Teresa is actively engaged in the community. She currently volunteers for Choral Arts Ensemble (where she is former Treasurer of the Board) and St. Vincent de Paul Society in Rochester. Teresa grew up in St. Anthony Village and now resides in Rochester, Minnesota with her husband.
As a Client Servicing Representative for Carlson Capital Management, Tiara Elg serves both new and current clients with all aspects of account management including activities such as account openings, fund transfers, online access, and many other key account servicing needs. In addition, Tiara provides office management and client hospitality and works with the firm’s advisors by handling central administrative and servicing functions.
Tiara’s professional background includes assisting customers with comprehensive account-related service in a banking environment. She joined CCM with fourteen years of experience serving customers as a personal banker and senior teller.
In her free time, Tiara enjoys spending time with family and friends, baking, and watching sports. She is a Minnesota native and particularly enjoys the winters. Tiara and her husband are both from Bloomington, where they still reside and where they are happily raising their two children.
A number of years ago, I was having a conversation with a client about his upcoming retirement. He was so excited and you could feel how blessed he felt to have worked in a career with a wonderful company, alongside colleagues who truly became family. We got to talking more and he told me that he really tried to live his personal and work life through inspiration from the poem “Desiderata” by Max Erhmann. I had never heard of the poem. He instantly had me pull it up on my computer and print it off. He read it with me at my desk and I could feel the enthusiasm in his voice as he explained the poem to me in his own words.
I have kept that same piece of paper from that very day in my work bag ever since. Every once in a while I take it out and re-read the messages of being humble and enjoying your achievements, but also remembering that each person has their own story. Never to judge, but to be wholesome and to listen; among many more positive principles for living life.
When I first started at CCM, everything in the poem came alive. It sparked the same excitement in me that I saw in my client that day years ago. CCM shares many of the values that I hold close, for me, and for my family. I have also come to see first-hand that it’s not just with colleagues, but with every client that walks in CCM's doors. Each colleague at CCM is dedicated to making sure that the client has the most holistic experience. I am proud to work for a company that establishes itself on the principles of culture and trust for everyone.
Tim Jackson is Director of Operations and Technology at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, Tim is responsible for oversight of all firm operations and technology. This includes planning, implementing and managing all aspects of technology to enhance both the client and colleague experience at CCM. He is also responsible for ensuring support and maintenance of existing applications, platforms and tools, as well as researching and implementing new solutions on an on-going basis. Tim’s hands-on experience and strong technical aptitude help ensure the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the firm’s operations.
Tim graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics with an emphasis in mathematics. After graduation, he joined a small software company in the Twin Cities, where he worked in research and development. Tim has extensive self-taught computer skills and has significant experience in designing and maintaining websites. In 2017, Tim began a three-year term as a member of the Charles Schwab Technology, Operations, and Service Advisory Board. He also volunteers his technical skills to assist a variety of non-profit organizations. Tim and his family live in Northfield, Minnesota.
Family is very important to me. I grew up with three brothers and three sisters, and my parents have since gone on to adopt thirty more children, bringing the total number of children in my family to thirty-seven. The closeness of my family has instilled in me a strong sense of family values, which I carry forward to my own family now. My wife and I love every second we are with our children, watching them develop and grow.
Growing up in a large family has also given me a great understanding of teamwork and how to get things done. My brothers and sisters would seldom all agree on things, but somehow we managed to compromise and move on without anyone getting left behind. My family experiences have helped me apply these skills of teamwork and compromise in the business world. Teamwork has always been a part of the CCM culture and I’m proud to provide our clients with an experience that reflects this value.
Tom Nowariak is an Investment Trading Specialist at Carlson Capital Management. As part of the investment team, Tom is responsible for monitoring and reviewing client portfolios to maintain balance across asset classes, making recommendations for portfolios when out of alignment with models, reviewing daily cash positions, and placing trades through the custodial trading platform. Tom is also responsible for key activities that support the firm’s data management and custodial relationships.
Tom is a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Financial Markets - Finance. While studying at UMD, Tom was a participant in the Labovitz School of Business and Economics’ Financial Markets Program which was responsible for managing an investment portfolio worth over $1 million. He also gained industry experience through an internship with a large advisory firm in the Twin Cities. In his free time, Tom enjoys playing hockey, spending time with family and friends at the cabin, and fishing the many lakes in Minnesota. Tom grew up in Eagan and now lives in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Albert Einstein once said, “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” This quote has always stayed with me and has been a catalyst for my firm belief that success is a function of curiosity. I have never been one to shy away from asking questions and have found that this particular mindset has encouraged me to keep an open mind while striving to learn new things.
Likewise at CCM, in order to make the best decisions for our clients, it is important that we all continue to learn, develop, and grow in both our knowledge and our curiosity every day. As our clients’ lives and their financial situations change, our knowledge and expertise so too expand in order to best serve our clients.
The CCM Investment Team regularly posts articles of interest including investment insights, recommended reading on timely topics, and articles on portfolio management which you can find here.
As Chief Administrative Officer at Carlson Capital Management, Tom leads the firm's strategic and tactical activities related to functional administrative areas such as finance, compliance, legal, technology and operations. In addition, as a member of the senior management team, Tom works closely with the President and the Board on the development of the firm's annual and long-term strategic plans. In his dual role as Chief Financial Officer, Tom is responsible for the development, communication and execution of the firm’s corporate financial planning function. He oversees internal accounting and budgeting processes and reporting, corporate tax management, vendor management and financial technology. Tom also manages all regulatory compliance processes for CCM and leads the Risk Management Committee, partnering with the Chief Compliance Officer.
Tom brought more than 35 years of experience in the financial services industry to his position at CCM. He served more than twenty years in the roles of chief financial officer and president of a Twin Cities based multi-state, multi-industry holding company. His professional experience includes all aspects of strategic, general and financial management as well as substantial experience with mergers and acquisitions.
Tom grew up in the Twin Cities and graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a Bachelor's degree in Business. He went on to earn his MBA in Finance from the University of Minnesota. Tom's involvement in the community has included school board service, coaching, and sitting on numerous non-profit boards including a large land trust in Western Wisconsin. Tom and his wife, Maureen, raised their son in New Brighton, Minnesota, where they now reside.
Tonya Quade, Corporate Administrator, has been part of the Carlson Capital Management team for more than twenty years, allowing her to contribute to the firm with a wide breadth of responsibility. Tonya manages the firm’s accounting activities, human resource functions and general corporate administration operations. In addition, she is responsible for serving as donor advised fund administrator for the American Center for Philanthropy, a non-profit organization seeded by Carlson Capital Management.
Tonya has called Red Wing, Minnesota home since 1979. She graduated from Red Wing Central High in 1991, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. Shortly there-after, Tonya began her career with Carlson Capital Management and following the founders, is the most tenured colleague at the firm.
Outside of work, Tonya enjoys spending time with family and friends. Tonya and her husband, Monte, live in Red Wing with their two sons.
Having been with CCM since 1996 when there were only four of us on the staff, I have seen and been part of many changes at the firm. The company has evolved in both small and large ways (everything from a name change to adding additional office locations), but there has been one constant that has remained unchanged. That constant is Carlson Capital Management’s commitment to each client and helping them in all aspects of their financial lives. This commitment is proven in not only the wide range of services we offer, but also in the personal attention that is given to making each client feel part of the Carlson “family.” It is part of our core philosophy that puts the client at the center of all that we do, and I think this is what makes our firm so unique.
Val Thomas is a Senior Integrated Wealth Advisor at Carlson Capital Management. As a Senior Advisor, Val partners with clients and their families providing the firm's fully integrated wealth management experience including investment management, retirement modeling, estate, philanthropic and educational planning, and all other aspects of general financial planning and client care. In this role, Val also connects clients with the firm's specialists for overall portfolio management as well as for direct access to expertise in areas such as tax planning and insurance analysis.
Val joined CCM with more than twenty-two years of experience serving clients by advising on all aspects of wealth management. In addition to her most recent experience as a wealth advisor with a large Twin Cities firm, prior professional roles include serving as a founding member of Marquette Asset Management where she acted in an array of key positions as the organization grew from a start-up to a robust wealth management firm. Her career began with Wells Fargo’s Lowry Hill Private Wealth Management (now Abbot Downing) where she provided wealth management services to families. Her expertise also includes family office services and trust and estate administration oversight. Val enjoys all aspects of wealth management, and finds the relationships she develops with clients and their families to be the most rewarding part of her work. She also enjoys developing and leading teams.
Val holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, where she graduated with highest honors. She is also a Trust School graduate of Cannon Financial Institute in Athens, Georgia. In addition, Val has attained the Certified Trust Financial Advisor designation and is a candidate for CFP® certification.
Val's spare time is filled with family activities, such as bike rides, amusement parks, downhill skiing, board games, and watching youth football and basketball. She and her husband are known for their date nights, which typically involve good food, local live music and dancing. They love to travel – particularly to destinations that allow them to keep their SCUBA certification up-to-date. Val is a Minnesota native, growing up partly in the Twin Cities and partly in a small rural town in the “Lake Country” near Alexandria. She currently lives in Falcon Heights with her husband, Stacy, and their two sons.
I wish there was a word that perfectly combined the essence of blessed, fortunate and grateful. This is how I feel having the privilege to help people with something as important as their financial journey – especially when I reflect upon my own career path.
As a young girl, I was painfully shy. The kind of shy where if someone would look at me my ears would burn and my face would blush. In the classroom, I remember how even the thought of being called on would cause sweaty palms and knots in my stomach.
Fast forward to junior high when the pastor’s wife, Marlene, asked me if I wanted to take voice lessons in exchange for watching her children during her other students’ piano and voice lessons. I’m forever grateful for the opportunity she gave me. Imagine that painfully shy girl only a few short years later singing solos at vocal competitions! From then on, my desire was to become a music teacher so I could make the same meaningful impact for others as Marlene had done for me. I knew I would have to work my way through college in order to graduate with my goal of incurring no student loans, so I graduated high school early so I could start taking college courses in the evenings.
My son at the age of four once asked me, “Mommy, can we take the long cut today?” and I believe that’s a perfect analogy to the next turn in my career path. A few years into my taking the “long cut” to getting a college degree, I was hired as a Financial/Investment Assistant at a wealth management firm. Two principals of the firm saw potential in me as a future advisor. With the help of some exceptional mentors, I built my knowledge and grew in my responsibilities, and I came to realize the impact I could have through serving clients and their families. I ultimately changed my major from Music Education to Business Administration and went on to complete my undergraduate degree as well as other specialized training and various industry-specific credentials.
In my case, the “long cut” was the perfect path. Now, with almost 24 years of serving clients, I reflect with gratitude on all I’ve been trusted with. It is so rewarding to help others identify their goals and work toward defining and creating their desired legacy. I am deeply blessed, fortunate and grateful.
Members of the CCM Advisory Team regularly post articles of interest on financial planning which you can find here.
It is with great sadness that we share that our dear friend and colleague, Victoria Plugaru, passed away on Tuesday, December 20th. Victoria was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in June of 2016, and fought hard until the end with beautiful grace and deep gratitude for each day she had.
Her impact as a CCM colleague was short but significant. She joined our firm in August 2015, in the role of a paraplanner, working alongside of CCM advisors to support them in caring for our clients. She was a quick study, had a generous spirit, and took her work seriously. Her Eastern European roots were evident in her strong work ethic and practical approach to life. We will always remember her beautiful smile, her willingness to do what it took to get the job done, and her deep appreciation for all that she had. We will also remember her giving spirit. She loved to cook, and if you sat near her during lunch, she was sure to offer you a sample of her latest meal creation, along with the recipe. Victoria told us, "It's the Romanian way. Food is love to us."
Victoria leaves behind her husband, Nick Shanklin, a Minneapolis police officer and three young children, Luke, age 5, Landon, age 3 and Mikayla, 11 months. Her family was her greatest love.
We will miss your presence dear Victoria, and we will strive to honor and follow your daily example of approaching life with a positive outlook, a practical nature and gratitude for what we have.